[Context: I don’t share this conversation to embarrass anyone over spelling, grammar, or attitude. I included this conversation in the introduction chapter of the book as a foreshadow to what I’ve found to be a common level of emotions, assumptions, and assertions that often accompany the defense of a person’s system of beliefs – supernatural, political, or otherwise. In other words, please understand – I’m not picking on Janet, she just happened to be my first “fan.”]
First, a little backstory. During an evening of cocktails with a group of friends from my days in ministry, the conversations revolved around a recent study that showed how little Christians knew about their own Bible. The next day, I got ahold of an artist I had worked with in the past to help shed a little light on the troubling reality of Biblical illiteracy by juxtaposing a whimsical style of children’s book illustrations with various Bible verses that aren’t often discussed in church. It wasn’t really satire or parody, just the awkward reality of what is actually found in the Good Book if folks took the time to read it.
The first story we tackled was part of God’s angry wrath in the story of Noah’s Ark, just an illustration of Genesis 6:6-7 without any commentary. I placed the image on an anonymous Facebook page as an inside joke for my friends. They got a kick out of it and suggested I spend $5 to promote the post to Christians just to see what would happen. Within an hour, I received my first “fan” mail…
“how dare you attack kids wiht you lies! who the fuck to you think you are? fucking atheist assholes! youve got no right to attacking christians with your hateful bullshit. take this down right nwo!
– Janet, Sioux City, SD
Thanks for taking the time to write. I’ll admit, I’m a bit surprised by your reaction and would like to ask you a few questions;
- What would make you think I am an atheist? I’m not. [Or, so I thought at the time.]
- What “attacks”? This is simply an illustration of a Bible passage.
- What “lies”? Is this not an accurate translation of Genesis 6:6-7?
- Why shouldn’t I have the “right” to illustrate Bible passages?
“i dont care if your christian or aethiest the bible doesn’t say that. god doesnt make mistakes! if you dont love jesus you dont have the right to talk about it!”
Don’t blame me, Janet – read your Bible, Genesis 6:6-7.
Janet never wrote back, but she had already prepared me for what to expect if we continued sharing “awkward” Bible illustrations. Likewise, her reaction inspired me to turn what was originally just an inside joke among friends into a public blog that encourages readers to open their Bibles and think critically for themselves about the content and context, perhaps for the first time since hearing watered-down versions of the stories as children in Sunday school. So, a big thanks to Janet!